Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey urged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to run for president Wednesday after attending a meeting with Perry in San Antonio.
“With the stakes this high, I don’t think any of us have the luxury of standing on the sidelines in the upcoming election,” Ramsey said in a statement. “Our country is at the edge of a precipice. We can either allow President Obama to drive us into the abyss, or we can stand our ground and take our country back.
“I believe Gov. Perry to be the man best suited to lead this fight. If the governor sees fit to make the decision many expect him to, I let him know today that I’ll be there to support him in any way I can.”
Ramsey is the first major Tennessee Republican to announce a favorite in the presidential race. Gov. Bill Haslam has said he might endorse someone, but not anytime soon.
Ramsey also took the opportunity to defend Perry for supporting Al Gore for president in 1988. Perry was his state's 1988 campaign chairman for then-U.S. Sen. Gore's first run at the presidency.
“That’s just silly,” Ramsey said of any criticism of Perry on this score. “The Al Gore of 1988 wasn’t the Al Gore of today or even the Al Gore of 2000. Al Gore is a political chameleon, and back in the '80s he was doing everything he could to convince conservatives that he was their representative in the Democratic Party.
“Let’s remember, Ronald Reagan was a Democrat once upon a time. Now he’s a conservative hero to millions of Republicans. Look at Gov. Perry’s record since 1990. Is it more Al Gore or more Ronald Reagan? The man’s record speaks for itself.”